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The Department of Motor Vehicles is preparing to send out letters to Virginians whose driving licenses have been suspended for failure to pay court fines and other costs. Effective July 1st, those licenses can no longer be suspended for non-DUI offenses. Any reinstatement fees will be waived as well.

From Governor Northam’s Office: -Governor Ralph Northam today announced that the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is preparing to send letters to Virginians whose driving privileges are suspended for failure to pay court fines and costs to advise them of any specific requirements for obtaining their driver’s licenses. Governor Northam’s budget includes a provision that prohibits courts from suspending driving privileges solely for failure to pay court fines and costs, effective July 1, 2019. Also beginning July 1, any Virginian whose driver’s license has been suspended for that single reason will have his or her driving privileges restored, and the associated reinstatement fee waived.

“Earlier this year, I was proud to sign legislation to ending the counterproductive practice of suspending driving privileges for failure to pay court fines and costs,” said Governor Northam. “I appreciate the hard work taking place at the DMV now to ensure that starting July 1, hundreds of thousands of impacted Virginians will be able to move their lives forward.”

The change only affects a person’s ability to get his or her driver’s license. It does not eliminate the requirement to pay the underlying court costs and fines. Additionally, Virginians whose driving privileges are suspended or revoked for other reasons, in addition to failure to pay court fines and costs, will need to meet any other court or DMV requirements to include payment of reinstatement fees to regain their driving privileges.

“DMV is sending letters to more than half a million Virginians whose lives could be transformed by giving them access to jobs, education, healthcare, and opportunity–once again,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine.

“It is long overdue that Virginia end its inequitable practice of suspending driving privileges for failure to pay court fines and costs,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “This is a significant step in the right direction toward getting Virginians back to work and enabling them to support their families.”